Book Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface, he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music will suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.
Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances, she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?
When It’s Real:
I received a copy of When It’s Real by Erin Watt for review from Harlequin Teen Australia. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
I’ve been in a very contemporary mood lately and this was the perfect book to pick up. When It’s Real by Erin Watt’s was fun, kept me on the edge of my seat and left me with a smile on my face.
When It’s Real follows two very different protagonists. Oakley is the current music-sensation and son of famous movies stars. He is stubborn, a troublemaker, use to getting what he wants and a player. But, there is also the side that the public doesn’t see. Then we have Vaughn who is quiet, will do anything for her family and just about ‘normal.’ But what happens when Oakley needs a ‘normal’ fake girlfriend? At first, it’s all for the press, but you know how things go.
Vaughn was someone I could relate to quite a bit. She loved her family a lot, and with her parents not there, she felt responsible for them. I think that is what I liked so much about her. Vaughn was also an easy protagonist to get along with. At times she was quite naive for someone who is seventeen, but she grew throughout the book. In saying that, I do wish she had a little more character development. There were times, I felt she lacked something.
Oakley was harder to get along with. At times he was an asshole, and only cared about himself. He had the ‘I’m famous, so love me and do what I say’ attitude and that was hard to be okay with. But, as the novel unfolded he starts to break down his walls. We see why he has become this way, why he has these walls. I felt Oakley had a lot of character development, in When It’s Real. The reader is able
The romance had its up and downs. When Oakley wasn’t being annoying, I really enjoyed the what he and Vaughn connected. They were able to see each other in different ways, and that was nice to see. I did feel that it took a long time to get there, and maybe the book was just too long.
The whole ‘fake’ romance things, I actully do enjoy. I think it’s really fun and the tension between the two at the start really is fun to watch. And I liked seeing them going from fake to real.
Family was a massive aspect of When It’s Real. We see some good representation of family and some absolutely horrible rep. And while I would have loved for both sides to be amazing, it sadly wasn’t. I loved the relationship between Vaughn and her family, the reader is able to see that they love each other. While Oakley’s family is just trouble.
Overall, When It’s Real was a fun read. I was able to sit for a couple of hours and power through. It has its ups and downs. Some moments where I wanted to cringe. But, sometimes you just want a book that is going to put a smile on your face. That you can just fall in love with. When It’s Real explores the notion of family, being famous and people trying to decide who you are. It’s about standing up for yourself and letting others go.
Have you When It’s Real? What did you think of it? Are you planning on reading it? Have you read any other books from duo Erin Watt? Let’s Chat!